Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 11th Mar 2013 14:51 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless After a few months of planning, several weeks of work, and possibly a few kilometres of aimless pacing through the living room, I'm happy to present "Palm: I'm ready to wallow now". This massive article (22,000 words) covers countless aspects of Palm, its devices, its operating system, and the company's importance to the mobile industry. I start with a detailed look at the history of handwriting recognition, after which I move on to the four hardware products I believe are crucial in understanding Palm as a company. Of course, I also dive into Palm OS, covering the kernel, its filesystem (or lack thereof), 'multitasking' capabilities, user experience, and much more. Important Palm OS licensees like Sony and Handspring make an appearance, and I cover the failed attempt at modernising the Palm OS: Palm OS 6 Cobalt. Finally, the conclusion ties it all together. For the first time in OSNews' history, you can also buy this article to support OSNews and make more articles like this possible in the future (don't worry - the regular online version is free, as always!). I suggest you grab a coffee, sit back, and enjoy.
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Finished reading,
by Kroc on Mon 11th Mar 2013 23:57 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Here's my 'review':

* For those reading via PDF, a _lot_ more images would have been appreciated as 1) hyperlinks were not working on my Kindle and 2) without tabbed-browsing using hyperlinks are painful on an e-reader

* For the PDF, an A5 format would have been better. Most e-readers are small form-factor and scaling from A4 to A5 just makes the text hard to read. I had to read in landscape mode

* An ePub / Mobi format would have been preferable to some. Whilst very difficult to do, it is kindest to embed the text of external content as footnotes in an eBook, so that offline reading is possible and the hyperlinked text in the main article can be followed and its context learnt

* Reading as a book, I actually felt as if the article was too short! I was enjoying it very much and felt it was all over a bit too soon. If you intend to do "offline" versions (i.e. PDFs) of articles in the future, please bear in mind the use-cases of such offline content and expand your writing to state what you are subtly inferring behind your choice of hyperlinks, which are easy to understand on a desktop device, but much harder to grok between-the-lines on a mobile or e-reader device

* The various model names brought back a lot of memories. I used to work at a consumer electronics superstore in 2003, a period when the hardware was getting pretty powerful (300+MHz ARMs) and WinMo was edging past Palm thanks to HPs range of devices. It was a time where it was just becoming obvious at the consumer end that the PDA and the phone were about crash into each other. Most PDAs had some kind of Bluetooth or WiFi option / expansion and though the cost of data plans limited such access to corporate users, I could see that all the complexity and fiddliness of owning and configuring PDA+Bluetooth Adapter+Nokia Phone was going to get blown away by something that put it all together. That's why the XDA was such a big thing (I think it needs a brief article of its own). That's what killed Palm as a viable platform IMO. The XDA+PocketIE was to Palm as much as iPhone+Safari was to WinMo

* I'm glad you didn't go into WebOS; I don't think it's at all relevant to Palm OS and would have only detracted from the article

* Overall an excellent read, thanks

Edited 2013-03-11 23:58 UTC

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